LIVESTREAM IFAF EC: Team Sweden @ Team Finland, Aug.5, 12:00 CET (12 noon, 6 am EDT)

Team Finland will play host to the Swedish national team in the 2023 International Federation of American Football European Championship semifinals, Saturday, August 5 in a rematch of the 2021 semifinal.

The Finns will definitely be seeking revenge for the 22-14 loss they suffered on that day two years ago to a Team Sweden squad that fell behind by two touchdowns early on, only to stage a comeback.

Finland’s head coach Mikko Koikkalainen will have two quarterbacks at his disposal with Helsinki Wolverines signal caller Rasmus Laalo likely the starter. Laalo has thrown for 1,107 yards and four touchdowns so far this year while veteran Miro Kadmiry backs him up. Running back will see four of the top 10 running backs in the Maple League including Tom Suoste (Wasa Royals) who is the third leading rusher, as well as Ville Hämäläinen (Helsinki Roosters), Yusufa Lehtinin (Roosters) and Micky Kyei (Porvoon Butchers) who is listed as a wide receiver but who is the seventh leading rusher.

Defensively, Crocodiles defensive back, the fourth leading tackler in Finland anchors a solid secondary while linebacker Veikka Lehtonen (Kuopio Steelers) is a key to the front seven.

Team Finland roster.

While perusing the Finnish roster four pairs of names may stick out. Finland may well be the only national team in the world with four sets of brothers on the squad. Linebacker Veikka Lehtonen and his brother running back Tuukka Lehtonen both play for the Kuopio Steelers and both have been mainstays on Team Finland for many years. Tuukka has represented Finland 36 times while Veikka will be playing in his 25th game on the Finnish national team. Meanwhile wide receivers Janne and Joel Särkelä are from the Seinäjoki Crocodiles. Defensive back Elmeri Laalo who is joining the Vienna Vikings in the ELF and his brother quarterback Rasmus Laalo along with the brothers Vehkomäki, Samuli and Santtu who play offensive line and wide receiver respectively, round out this quartet of siblings on Team Finland.

Team Sweden roster.

Team Sweden and head coach BD Kennedy will be relying on a pair of young quarterbacking talents, Viktor Wessberg and Ture Nilsson, to lead the team. Meanwhile, in the backfield, Sweden will be looking to the regular season rushing leader in the Swedish Superserien, Kasper Wedberg (Örebro Black Knights). The receiving corps is led by Anton Blomgren (Stockholm Mean Machines) and Edvin Almeida (Tyresö Royal Crowns), the two top receivers in the Swedish league this season. Almeida is no stranger to the Finnish coaches as he burned the Team Finland secondary for 120 yards and a touchdown in the 2021 semifinal. Defensively, Sweden’s anchor will likely be all star linebacker Mattias Ericksson (Carlstad Crusaders) who led the Superserien in tackles by a wide margin and who is headed to the Vienna Vikings in the European League of Football after this game. A notable absence from this roster is one of the leading receivers in ELF, Theo Landström, who plays for the Barcelona Dragons. He was not released by the club to play in the game.

Heading into this game, the edge goes to Finland. They are playing at home and the Finnish Maple League is in full swing so Team Finland’s players are battle ready. The Swedish Superserien ended a month ago. However, this isn’t the first time Team Sweden has taken the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki to face a tough Finnish national team. The slugfest between the two Nordic neighbors has been a near-annual occurrence since 1992, with Finland leading the head-to-head matchup 17-12. However, many of Sweden’s victories have come in recent years including twice in 2021.

Watch live in Sweden. Team Sweden @ Team Finland, Aug.5, 12:00 CET (12 noon, 6 am EDT)

Watch live outside Sweden and Finland. Team Sweden @ Team Finland, Aug.5, 12:00 CET (12 noon, 6 am EDT)

Watch live in Finland. Team Sweden @ Team Finland, Aug.5, 12:00 CET (12 noon, 6 am EDT)

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